First solid foods offer a great opportunity to get your baby used to a variety of flavors. This could make them more willing to try new things, ultimately giving them a varied and healthy diet.

Carrots are naturally sweet and mellow, just right for baby’s simple palate. What’s more, they’re packed with essential nutrients and are easy to use as a baby food ingredient.

Carrots are very high in vitamin A, which is needed to support the immune system, as well as your heart, lungs, and kidneys. It also supports eye health, specifically the retina, eye membrane, and cornea. Babies under six months need 400 mcg of vitamin A per day, and babies between six months and a year old need 500 mcg per day.

Read More: Why Your Body Loves Carrots »

Carrots are also a good source of other vitamins, like vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly, and vitamin B6, which is necessary for skin, hair, eye, and liver health.

They’re a good source of fiber, which your baby might need more of if you’re feeding them a lot of low-fiber foods like baby cereals.

Your baby can start eating carrots at about six months, and the options are limitless! The jury is still out on whether you should buy organic. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that it is important for children to eat a variety of foods, whether they are organic or conventionally grown, though they note that organic foods do have lower levels of pesticides and drug-resistant bacteria.

Boiled Carrots

Just cook raw carrots yourself. Wash and peel them, then boil in water until tender. Mash thoroughly with a fork or food mill. Add a little water to get the consistency right for your baby, and voila!

Roasted Carrots

You might like to try roasting the carrots, rather than boiling. Roasted vegetables develop a more intense flavor, like in this simple roasted carrot puree recipe.

Chicken and Carrots

Because of their strong flavor, carrots are a good cover for foods your baby might not otherwise relish. This smooth chicken, apple, and carrot puree serves up a full ounce of chicken. That’ll get your baby 8 grams of protein, almost the full daily requirement for babies between 7 and 12 months.

Carrot Meatballs

Most babies can sit up on their own by 6 months and can grasp with finger and thumb at about 10 months. That’s when you can start introducing foods that babies can hold themselves. These carrot meatballs combine an entire meal of nutrients into one handful of food. The salt isn’t necessary, and letting your baby enjoy salt-free foods could help establish a low-sodium diet for life.

Butternut Squash and Carrots

Here’s a puree recipe that combines some easily digestible vegetables — like butternut squash and carrots — with a pinch of curry. Apples are a baby favorite and are a fairly good source of vitamin C, which protects cells from destructive free radicals.

Carrot allergies are not common. However, if your baby is allergic to birch pollen or mugwort pollen, he or she might also be allergic to carrots. When you introduce a new food to your baby, do not mix it with another new food, and also wait three to five days to see if any allergic reaction develops. Be on the lookout for symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, but also more subtle signs such as rashes. Be especially watchful if you or someone else in your family has a food allergy.